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 Satsang Cafe - General Discussions on AYP
 Is ecstasy necessary?
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interpaul

USA
227 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2021 :  12:39:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
quote:
the core qualities of enlightenment - stillness and ecstasy


Christi had answered a question I posed recently regarding the importance of ecstasy on the path supporting Yogani's above quote. Occaisionally I step back from my practices and challenge some of my key assumptions. I have to admit I hadn't considered my original goal to be enlightenment when I joined AYP, I was searching for a more mundane outcome, reduced suffering. Yet, as I proceed I am more and more drawn to it than I had been. It has also been a surprise to me that ecstasy is one of the two key ingredients in enlightenment. I am familiar with tales of the ecstatic saints and monks, yet this is not emphasized. My explorations in Buddhism have always seemed much more sober. The focus on stillness, as developed through DM, is much more in line with my pre AYP view of the path to enlightnement. How do you view the role of shakti in your spiritual journey? Do you see the interplay of shiva and shakti as the only true path, i.e. can one achieve enlightenment through shiva alone?

zamolxes

Romania
61 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2021 :  2:20:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi interpaul,

In my path I haven't put much importance into ecstasy, and neither does it come too much into my life. When I started doing spiritual practices very often I was pumped with an extremely pleasurable feeling, other times I felt more of a merging between silence and my body, but nowadays I don't feel much. There is ecstatic conductivity, but it doesn't feel as ecstasy. There were occasional times when the bliss would pour out into my body, and that is indeed pleasurable, but as any high it doesn't stay into everyday life. So for me, whether it is pure breath meditation or the whole ayp system, I too place more importance on silence, the one that opens the doors of understanding, and so even if there's suffering, the one who suffers doesn't complain much nowadays, it is as if I can still see the bigger picture.

Also, the lack of pleasurable ecstasy in my case could be because I have become extremely sensitive with time, reducing energetic practices and always walking on a rope, taking care of everything so as to not blow the engine.. I'm sure, and this understanding came from experience, that the metaphor of shakti merging with shiva is not necessarily so, perhaps it is shiva merging with shakti, perhaps shakti already is, and moves only when it is needed, so gentle that it the senses can't perceive it. These days I thought of it, of why I stopped feeling ecstasy, or if it just changed into something subtle, not yet coming into light until my system realigns into the next stage, because it sure does feel that I have my legs in the air.

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lightandlove

Germany
48 Posts

Posted - Feb 22 2021 :  3:31:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi interpaul,

I am a very silent and inward person by nature and I'm very drawn to what you would call shiva. But the joy that comes when shakti and shiva meet is unity. I always found it helpful for me to do energetic practices as this seemed to cultivate this more active beingness or joy. I mean shiva and shakti, stillness and ecstasy or whatever you name it, that is by itself a mere concept or names. But when I look at nature I see indeed that there is not only stillness but also great movement. I study physics - which is basically observing and understanding the laws of nature - and what I see there are forces, energy, movement, currents etc.
It is there, no doubt about it. Not only in humans, but all nature is energy moving around. If there was no energy, no movement, we wouldn't exist as we are existing.
You see there is more to it still. Someone is looking. Someone is observing this very movement. It doesn't change, it is ever silent.

I see no either-or, it is both. It is both playing together. It is dancing together.
It is melting into each other and becomes one. The observer becomes the observed.

Looking into the forest I see not every tree is the same. Some need more sun, some need more water to grow.
There is certainly not only one true path. Do what feels good for you as you would breath when there is fresh air.
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interpaul

USA
227 Posts

Posted - Feb 23 2021 :  11:51:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Zamolxes, There is no question the ecstatic limb has its challenge as you have shared above and previously (as have I). I posed this question as a broader question, i.e. is embracing the ecstatic fundamental to the journey. In other paths, say Catholocism, my understanding is faith in Jesus is the key ingredient. In AYP it seems to be ectatic meeting bliss. As I reflected on this more while walking the dogs today I realized this spiritual journey which we call life ultimately requires some degree of faith. Much of the craziness in the world around us follows distrust. As a good example, those individuals who distrust science and believe the world is flat ultimately are held back from further learnings that come from a release from a geocentric world view.

lightandlove, I like your explanation and am a big fan of physics. My attachment to logic and understanding(non relational inquiry) continues to take me down these paths of deconstruction prior to integration. I have had tastes of non duality, yet I struggle with the very compelling (and at times compulsive) draw of the ecstatic energies. The irony from my current mindset is the very merging of these dual aspects of our being (bliss and ecstasy) creates non duality.


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zamolxes

Romania
61 Posts

Posted - Feb 23 2021 :  12:41:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Interpaul, from your posts I see that you unknowingly are seeking for some kind of meaning, or so I perceive it. No doubt we are affected by these openings, having lived as you stated in distrust, we are now experiencing what would seem, from a material point of view, something very magical. The ecstasy, as something innately different from the silence, could make us slightly unstable as we become more versatile towards it. And so, suddenly having more into our lives we don't know ehat to do with it, and subconsciously we try to fit it into the big puzzle that we made out of life. And we try to understand, searching for a confirmation.

I don't think someone can point towards a certain something that you seek for, whatever that is. Perhaps you have conceived some notions out of the different experiences that are arising, but cannot truly understand it. The conflict between duality and non-duality, the shiva-shakti poles etc. We surely know of it, having read lessons and topics on the forum, but there is this little something bugging us of.

I can only say that I too struggled with my own uncertainties, even releasing all of it into what seemed like silence, but was in fact just a silent mind. So we grow a tail out of nothing and then run in circles trying to catch it. And then, when I least expected it, something opened in me, something else collapsed, and I felt like laughing knowing that whatever it was that I was trying to cope with, or understand or figure out, was nothing really, just my imagination, with no relations with reality. Many times I was over-loading with practices, something that didn't let calm myself, and the energy states I created with these obsessions were draining me.

I can only pray for you, because one day you will surely get over it, and you will feel free, amused at having stressed yourself over it. You will figure it out, and then it won't matter anymore.
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lightandlove

Germany
48 Posts

Posted - Feb 23 2021 :  2:20:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by interpaul


My attachment to logic and understanding(non relational inquiry) continues to take me down these paths of deconstruction prior to integration. I have had tastes of non duality, yet I struggle with the very compelling (and at times compulsive) draw of the ecstatic energies. The irony from my current mindset is the very merging of these dual aspects of our being (bliss and ecstasy) creates non duality.



Hi interpaul,

Logic and understanding are not the same as non relational inquiry. Thinking in general is not in itself a bad thing. But indeed it makes a difference wether your mind is using you or you are using your mind.
It is important to keep your things together while being in unity consciousness.
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Blanche

USA
682 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2021 :  06:48:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Interpaul,

Back to your opening question, I would say that bliss is not "necessary" - it is part of the path. One needs both legs to walk the path, stillness and bliss. Taittiriya Upanishad called also Brahmananada Valli (the discourse on the bliss of Brahman) talks about the bliss increasing in one hundred times increments. These blasts of rapture that come with knowing the self may be disorienting at times, but one quite quickly adapts to the new level of functioning. We get used to good life quickly Then another level reveals itself. You will see how funny it is when it happens to you in public.

As humans, we do have a bliss body that becomes more conscious as our awareness clears itself. We are made this way, nothing we can do about it

The guru is in you.
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sunyata

USA
1460 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2021 :  08:12:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Interpaul,

Re Your question: Is ecstasy necessary?

As you know in AYP, the first stage of Enlightenment is inner silence. It’s also mentioned that one can just practice Deep Meditation and go all the way.
However, the third stage of Enlightenment in AYP is merging of Stillness and Ecstatic Bliss. Stillness and Ecstatic Bliss are two faces of the same coin. The “Self”.

If you have noticed with spiritual practitioners who are solely focused on meditation can have a lot of wisdom, discernment but have a detached view of life, aloof from emotions. On the other hand, spiritual practitioners who put too much emphasis on the energetic side can have boundless love and bliss states. But,pulled hither and tither by the energy. Both groups are correct.

However, wisdom without ecstatic bliss leads to dryness/coldness. Ecstatic bliss without wisdom leads to lack of clarity, equanimity. It is in merging inner silence with ecstatic bliss that life can be embraced just as it is and lived fully without denying any part of human experience.

Sunyata
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interpaul

USA
227 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2021 :  12:41:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
I see that you unknowingly are seeking for some kind of meaning

Yes, Zam you are correct. In my late fifties, after a very rewarding career and a meaningful journey raising three kids I am drawn to some of the more elusive mysteries. Yogani speaks of one's Ishta. For the last couple years I've proceeded down this path without really giving that any consideration as I've been largely agnostic. In some of his discussions he fleshes this out to be a chosen ideal such as a belief. I guess my Istha is to seek truth, i.e. the reason for our existence. I feel like I understand many of the lessons this life has offered me and still I seek more. AYP has unsettled me some as the practices have helped me to deconstruct my very arousal process. I love this quote from your response "So we grow a tail out of nothing and then run in circles trying to catch it." This poetically captures the esence of my struggle with the ecstatic energies. I have transformed my sexuality such that it raises questions in me about its purpose and place on this path, thus the post.

quote:
Logic and understanding are not the same as non relational inquiry....
It is important to keep your things together while being in unity consciousness.


Lightandlove, I've assumed non relational inquiry is just the process of asking questions with your mind, whereas, relational inquiry is questioning from stillness. Can you clarify what you mean by "keep your things together"?

quote:
We get used to good life quickly Then another level reveals itself. You will see how funny it is when it happens to you in public.

Blanche, I'm guessing there's a pretty interesting story here!

Sunyata, Yes, you've given me a nice way to think about this issue. The "sober" quality I spoke of related to the Buddhist way I often encounter likely focuses entirely on the inner stillness. I like how you frame this as it gives me a healthier way to invision this process.


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lightandlove

Germany
48 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2021 :  3:54:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Can you clarify what you mean by "keep your things together"?


It's good to still be able to tie your shoes and solve other normal tasks. Sobriety in simple daily life is a good measure for a balanced practice, regardless of how "far" you are on the path.

quote:
I've assumed non relational inquiry is just the process of asking questions with your mind, whereas, relational inquiry is questioning from stillness.


I agree that this is true for self inquiry.
But if coming to let's say science or any task, your mind and logic may be helpful for understanding certain things. For example let's say you want to know the velocity of something, then you can use your mind to find out what parameters will tell you the velocity. Then if you understand that you can do the required measurements.
Maybe in some state you can know everything from stillness alone, but I strongly doubt that this is the aim or such one would have the need to make it public. A good example of non relational self inquiry are those who think they've got it all, knowing more about certain science fields or world stuff than people who studied this for decades. Logic, science, society is just mind games and after 10 years of meditation I could make myself free of that... This is just 10 years of developing more ego and ignorance. This is spiritual narcissism.
I think it's wisdom to know that you don't know rather than knowing that you know everything :)

Edited by - lightandlove on Feb 24 2021 4:22:19 PM
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